The Centre has decided to extend the deadline for bidding for privatisation of Bharat Petroleum Corporation for the fourth time. The new deadline is now November 16. The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) said in a notification that this decision has been taken following requests from interested parties amid the pandemic.
"A Preliminary Information Memorandum document (PIM) for inviting Expression of Interest (EOI) for strategic disinvestment of BPCL was issued on 7th March, 2020. Subsequently, vide corrigendum issued on 31st March, 2020, 26th May, 2020 and 29th July, 2020 the last date for submission of EoI ("EOI Due Date") was extended to 13th June, 2020, 31st July, 2020 and 30th September, 2020, respectively. In view of further requests received from the Interested Bidders (IBs) and the prevailing situation arising out of COVID-19 pandemic, the last Date for submission of EoIs is further extended to 16th November, 2020 (by 5.00 PM)," said the department.
According to reports, bidders have expressed concern that it would be difficult for them to travel amid lockdowns for physical due diligence.
Cabinet had approved the sale of the government's entire 52.98 per cent stake in BPCL in November last year. Bids were sought only on March 7. The value of the government's stake is expected to be around Rs 42,120.7 crore.
Any private company with a net worth of over $10 billion or a consortium of not more than fours firms will be eligible for the bidding.